Journal of Computational Neuroscience

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 63–75 | Cite as

Action potential initiation in a multi-compartmental model with cooperatively gating Na channels in the axon initial segment



Somatic action potentials (AP) of cortical pyramidal neurons have characteristically high onset-rapidness. The onset of the AP waveform is an indirect measure for the ability of a neuron to respond to temporally fast-changing stimuli. Theoretical studies on the pyramidal neuron response usually involves a canonical Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) type ion channel gating model, which assumes statistically independent gating of each individual channel. However, cooperative activity of ion channels are observed for various cell types, meaning that the activity (e.g. opening) of one channel triggers the activity (e.g. opening) of a certain fraction of its neighbors and hence, these groups of channels behave as a unit. In this study, we describe a multi-compartmental conductance-based model with cooperatively gating voltage-gated Na channels in the axon initial segment. Our model successfully reproduced the somatic sharp AP onsets of cortical pyramidal neurons. The onset latencies from the initiation site to the soma and the conduction velocities were also in agreement with the previous experimental studies.


Action potential Onset rapidness Cooperativity hypothesis Na channel Axon initial segment Multi-compartmental neuron model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular Biology and GeneticsÜsküdar UniversityIstanbulTurkey
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and LearningBeijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Theoretical Neurophysics GroupMax Planck Institute for Self-Organization and DynamicsGöttingenGermany

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